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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2995 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

by cheque or credit card; providing mechanisms to allow problem gamblers to exclude themselves using a licensee's facilities for gambling; training staff to recognise and deal appropriately with people who are problem gamblers or who are at risk; and developing methods of dealing with staff or clients who are problem gamblers or who are at risk.

I am reminding the Assembly of these provisions within the new commission Act because, as I have said, my amendments follow directly from the powers of the commission to develop and to review these codes of practice. Under my amendments the casino licensee and the gaming machine and interactive gambling licensees are required to comply with codes of practice developed by the commission. In addition to requiring licensees to comply with the relevant code of practice affecting their gambling industry, my amendments also make a breach of the code of practice for those licensed under the Casino Control Act and the Gaming Machine Act grounds for disciplinary action. The parliamentary drafter has advised me that these provisions already exist within the Interactive Gambling Act, so I have not provided amendments to this effect.

My amendments will ensure that gambling providers comply with basic consumer protection requirements, requirements that are fundamental to many other industries. In tandem with the Government's amendments which specify a broader range of disciplinary tools open to the commission for breaches of licences, my amendments will ensure that if gambling providers do not comply with basic consumer protection requirements, as specified in the codes of practice to be developed by the commission, those gambling providers will be subject to disciplinary action.

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (4.30), in reply: Mr Speaker, I want to thank members for their support for this legislation. It does take to the next stage a comprehensive review of gambling-related legislation in the ACT and follows hot on the heels of legislation passed recently to establish the Gambling and Racing Control Commission. One of the earliest tasks of that commission that the Assembly has now established will be to undertake a comprehensive review of all gambling and racing legislation in the ACT. In doing so I think it is important that we give the commission the powers to administer the Acts which are amended by this piece of legislation and to rectify operational shortcomings identified in those three Acts.

The three Acts are the Casino Control Act 1988, the Gaming Machine Act 1970 and the Interactive Gambling Act 1988. The Gaming Machine Act and the Casino Control Act are over a decade old. Many changes have occurred in the nature of gambling, particularly with respect to the application of new technology in that time, and, not surprisingly, there are a large number of things that need to be amended to pick up changes in the way that the legislation operates.

It is also important, however, to ensure that we enhance the commission's capacity to undertake its wider review of racing and gambling and its effects in the community, to focus its attention on the mechanics of gambling phenomena and the way in which gambling interacts on our community, and to remove the number of times it is having to attend to technical shortcomings and deficiencies in the legislation. That is basically what this legislation now does. I thank members for supporting it. I believe there will be a significant exercise before the commission, but I look forward to it being able to

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